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“You read in the paper Amazon opened one of their new two headquarters, or are in the process of doing it, very close to here. It’s just right across the river,” Bloomberg said on Tuesday during a 15-minute address, according to Politico. “But the reason they came here was not the tax breaks they got, which I didn’t think they needed.”
The e-commerce giant will be awarded $3 billion in taxpayer subsidies by the city and state as an incentive to make Long Island City, which is in the city's borough of Queens, its new home. Amazon said it will invest $2.5 billion and create 25,000 jobs in the nation's largest city. The Queens location is expected to generate $10 billion in tax revenue for New York over the span of 20 years.
Bloomberg, who is mulling over a 2020 presidential run, served as New York City mayor for 12 years. His Amazon comments comes as a surprise after the former mayor handed out tax incentives to businesses who threatened to leave the city during his three terms.
The Amazon deal was orchestrated by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, two Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls.
Mayor de Blasio expressed his astonishment at Bloomberg’s position, saying in a Tuesday press conference, “Here's a charter member of the 1 percent who has gotten a lot of his wealth through favorable government policies like a very low tax rate for the rich compared to what it used to be, and he's criticizing an economic development deal. I find that unusual.”